Tips for Managing Hemorrhoid Flare-ups
Dr. Carlos A. Barba in Brownsville and Harlingen, TX
Hemorrhoids are the swelling of blood vessels in the rectum or anus and come in two forms, internal and external. While external tend to be more painful, both kinds can cause bleeding, discomfort and swelling. Surgery may not be necessary in your case, and managing flare-ups can greatly reduce symptoms.
Eating More Fiber
A lot of the time hemorrhoids are caused by constipation due to the straining of your blood vessels. Eating fiber-rich foods, like whole wheat, corn and bran can help regulate your bowel movements.
When You Have to Go, Just Go
You shouldn’t delay going to the bathroom. Putting off bowel movements can assist in constipation and stressing your colon and rectum. Don’t just wait until it’s convenient for you. If you know you’ll be on a long stretch without a bathroom, like a long road trip or outdoor activities, try to go to the bathroom before.
Soften Your Stool
If straining from irregular and painful bowel movements is the cause if your hemorrhoids, you may want to consider changing your diet. But a short-term solution is to add a tablespoon of mineral oil to some of your foods, like yogurt in the morning. Or if this is a recent issue, try taking a laxative to loosen your stool. Keep in mind, these should not be long-term solutions, and something you would want to talk to your doctor about.
Using a Sitz
A sitz is a small basin that fits under your toilet seat so you can soak the area. Some people use this for personal hygiene and other conditions, but it can work for external hemorrhoids as well. Soaking the area in warm water for 10-15 minutes each day helps reduce inflammation and ease the pain.
What Do I Do if These Don’t Work?
If you’ve been trying these methods for a few weeks and you’re still experiencing discomfort, you may want to talk with a colorectal specialist. They may prescribe medication, but if symptoms are severe, you may have a more serious case of hemorrhoids in which case surgery may be necessary.
Usually, women who are pregnant or just gave birth, and lifestyle choices can cause small cases of hemorrhoids, which can be treated with medication and some at-home remedies. But more serious cases tend to be genetic and with an older demographic.